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Old 02-14-2020, 07:32 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "The Babysitter" & "The $99,000 Answer":

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "The Babysitter" & "The $99,000 Answer":

Episode #126 (Syndicated episode #17)
TV: Half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "Mama Loves Mambo." On some tapes, it is attached to "Oh My Aching Back." On some tapes, it is attached to episodes #12-18 of the Classic 39.
Laserdisc: Attached to “A Matter of Record”, “The Babysitter”, Oh My Aching Back”, “Ralph Kramden Inc.”, “The Safety Award”, “Mind Your Own Business” (aka “Ralph’s Big Mouth”), “Alice & The Blonde”, “The Bensonhurst Bomber”, “Dial J For Janitor” & “A Man’s Pride.”
DVD: Attached to episodes #17-24 of the classic 39. The HD Blu-Ray set has the exact same episodes (including two versions of the following: "The $99,000 Answer", "A Dog's Life" & "Here Comes The Bride" (in which one has the original ads) 60 Minutes Interview & outtakes (in which Jack talks about outtakes).
Air Date: 1/21/56

"The Babysitter";

To see the script for this episode, click here: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co...episode=s04e17

Alice just got a new phone which is black. She calls Trixie down and explains she just got a new phone. Trixie comes down. They rave about the phone. One problem: Trying to hide the phone from Ralph. Trixie leaves. Alice tries to hide the phone from him. Ralph, of course, doesn't think they can afford a phone. Ralph comes home and when something rings, Ralph hears it's coming from the bureau (where Alice hid it.) Alice (sarcastically): "All right Ralph. Kill me!" Ralph says that the phone is going out the window and they can't afford it. Ralph: "What's the matter with yelling out the window?" Alice: "That's bad manners." Ralph: "My mom did it." Alice: "Yeah, and when she lost her voice, more people listened to her than Amos N' Andy." They argue more and more about the phone. Ralph: "That phone is for you-you-you." Alice picks up the ringing phone. Alice: "It's for-you-you-you." Ralph: "Hello?...Shut up!" That was Ed Norton congratulating Ralph on finally getting a phone. Ralph: "A man's home is like a ship. Where are you going?" Alice: "I'm retiring to the poop deck until this big wind blows over." Ha!

Ed comes down and they talk about the phone. Ed wants to make a very important call. Ralph obliges but gets mad when he finds out that the call is to get the correct time. Ralph: "You're going to pay me for that call." Gee, how nice...NOT! Ed says that Ralph has used his phone a lot of times. Ralph says he will pay for all his calls. Ed gets out a list of EVERY EXACT phone call that Ralph made on his phone. Ralph says that the phone was for Alice so she can talk all day long. Ralph thinks he knows the phone number for their home. He says that he will call and if it's a busy signal, he will come back up and catch Alice in the act. He leaves. A neighbor pops in and she knows of a couple who is in need of a kid who needs babysitting (hence the title of the episode.) She says that her phone number is Bensonhurst 0-7741. (This was a time before all phone numbers were all U.S. phone numbers were all 7 or 10 digit numbers.) Ralph comes back home and thinks he caught her in the act. Ralph: "If I have called Bensonhurst 0-7740 once, I must have called it a hundred times and I got a busy signal each time." Alice: "Our number is..." Audrey Meadows (via a real obvious overdub) "...Bensonhurst 0-7741." Audrey's & Jackie’s voices when they said the phone numbers were dubbed later after this episode was made. Why? According to the original script as printed in Peter Crescenti and Bob Columbia’s The Original Honeymooners Treasury, the wrong number was to be Bensonhurst 4-7741. And yes, because both phone numbers existed, they had to be changed (and likewise, the title to "The Babysitter)." According to Donna McCrohan's book, this episode had the longest history of rescheduling of any Honeymooners. It was originally titled "Bensonhurst 3-7741" and scheduled to air in succession, for October 15, December 17, and December 31, 1955. When the episode finally aired on January 21, 1956, it was retitled "The Baby-Sitter." Anyway, back to the show. Alice says: "I guess I married the wrong number Ralph." Ouch!

At the barber shop, a man at the shop is talking to Harvey Walsetter about Alice Kramden being a great babysitter last night. Ralph is remorseful what he did last night as they both get what I'm guessing is facials. Ed helps himself to whatever he can find at the shop too. Gee, isn't that kind of making yourself at home? Ralph overhears the man and Harvey talking in the shop. According to Harvey Walsetter, he wants Alice to come to his house tonight (to babysit his kid.) But Ralph, being Ralph, thinks she is seeing someone. Ralph and Ed leave.

At the Kramden household, Alice just accepted another babysitting job over the phone. It's for tonight and since she has to leave early and tries to rush Ralph (who is supposed to go to a Raccoon Lodge meeting) into eating his dinner. Ralph gets even more suspicious. Alice leaves and when Ed comes down, he says that when he goes to Harvey's house, he will kill Harvey and say to Alice it's over. Ralph: "I don't want to lose her." Ralph leaves. Ed: "I hope he doesn't lose her too. She's such a good cook."

At the Walsetter's place, the couple is celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Alice comes in. Harvey and his wife say their kid, whose name is Harvey Jr., is fast asleep. They leave. Ralph rings the doorbell about 9 times too many and greets Alice at the door. He is ticked off. Ralph goes over to the Harvey Jr.'s bedroom and says: "I came to see Harvey." Ralph (yells): "Come on out of there Harvey." Harvey Jr., because of the yelling comes out. He is supposedly crying a little but doesn't make a sound. Alice: "That's Harvey Jr." She picks little Harvey up and as Harvey is being carried back he takes one look at Ralph is his Raccoon uniform (complete with Raccoon cap) and says: "Gee, I never knew that Davey Crockett was so fat." Ha! He gets sent o bed. Ralph then gets the real message but this mess if actually Alice's fault and not Ralph's. Ralph loves Alice and Alice says that now they have a phone (which would be gone by the next episode) for him to call and tell Alice that. They hug and kiss.

Note: There was speculation that the bonus material on the HD Blu-Ray set may contain all of the original audio of this episode which would include the original phone numbers. Not so.

Episode #127 (Syndicated episode #18)
TV: Half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "On Stage." On some tapes, it is attached to "Ralph Kramden Inc." On some tapes, it is attached to episodes #13-18 of the classic 39.
Laserdisc: Attached to “A Matter of Record”, “The Babysitter”, "Oh My Aching Back”, “Ralph Kramden Inc.”, “The Safety Award”, “Mind Your Own Business” (aka “Ralph’s Big Mouth”), “Alice & The Blonde”, “The Bensonhurst Bomber”, “Dial J For Janitor” & “A Man’s Pride.”
DVD: Attached to episodes #17-24 of the classic 39. The HD Blu-Ray set has the exact same episodes (including two versions of the following: "A Dog's Life" & "Here Comes The Bride" (in which one has the original ads) 60 Minutes Interview & outtakes (in which Jack talks about outtakes).
Air Date: 1/21/56

"The $99,000 Answer":

To my shock, the original script of this surfaced on Ebay in 2014. Unlike "The Sleepwalker", this one cost chump change and here's the link if you want to see it: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...d.php?t=333351.

To see the finished script, click here: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co...episode=s04e18

A game show called: "The $99,000 Answer" comes on and the host of the show (Herb Norris) is with a contestant. Herb asks him a question which the contestant answers correctly. Herb says that he can come back next week and see if he wants to try for the $99,000 Question. The contestant leaves. The next contestant comes in and it's Ralph Kramden. Ralph is all nervous and when he gets asked as to what he does for a living, he says: "I brive a dus." Herb realizes that Ralph drives a bus and tells a story on when it was raining and there was a big puddle of mud that he was standing near and when he waved for a bus, not only did the driver not stop, he drove into the puddle of mud and all the mud went on Herb. Ralph: "Was that you?" Ouch! Herb explains the rules of the game and the category that Ralph picks for the questions is Popular Songs. Time runs out and Ralph is asked to return next week and the game show ends (even though it started a few minutes ago, or so it seems.)

At home that night, Alice & Trixie are raving about Ralph's appearance on the game show. Ralph is under the street light outside hoping someone will recognize him. Trixie: "When Ralph turns profile, he's the biggest thing on TV." She leaves. Ralph enters home. Ralph: "I learned something tonight Alice. You are never too old to learn something and tonight I learned something. There's not one person in this building that hasn't got a jealous nature. Not one person admitted they saw me on the program." Alice says that Trixie was hear and she saw you on the TV and that Trixie explained that Ed and all his friends were at the bowling alley and they saw you on the program. Alice: "Trixie says that you’re the biggest thing on TV." Ralph is happy. He says that they will all take part in the celebration of Ralph winning the $99,000. Ralph: "We will be living on Park Avenue and just wait until you see what this furniture looks like when it's in a Park Avenue apartment." Alice is upset that Ralph thinks it's going to be easy to win all the money given the tough questions. Ralph says that that's why he picked a topic that he likes: Popular Songs. Ralph: "I have always liked music especially popular music. I used to eat, sleep and drink music. Every night, I ended up listening to a dance man." Ralph says that he won't worry about being on the $99,000 Answer (a big show). He is always his BEST under pressure. Alice: "You're a man who brives a dus." Ralph says that a 12-year-old kid came on that program and answered the first question and if a 12-year-old can do it, he could. Alice: "Spell antidistanttablishmentterrism (sp?)." Ralph: "I'll spell it when you give me $16,000 for spelling it." Ralph says that for the program next week, he's going to extremely study. He will be home pretty much 24 hours a day for the next seven days. He's going to buy sheet music and study that and he's going to rent a piano and have Norton come down and play every song that he has ever heard of. He's also going to buy a phonograph and study records. Alice says that that will cost a fortune. Ralph: "When the smoke clears, we will have $99,000." (Doesn't Ralph know that he would probably get less than $99,000 after taxes?) This time I will get my pot of gold." Alice: "Just go for the gold. You already got the pot." Ha!

During the next week, Alice's Mom comes by. Alice's Mom: "How's the brain doing?" Alice says that the piano and the phonograph have been going on since 2am every night. (Why didn't the Kramdens and Nortons get kicked out for Ralph & Ed making so much noise?) Ralph comes home from Mrs. Manicotti's (she was helping him study by singing Italian classic songs) and Alice's Mom wants Ralph to get to the $99,000 Question and she wants to see his face when he misses it. She leaves. Alice complains about all Ralph is doing to win the money. She goes to bed. Ed comes in with more phonographs. So, let the Norton piano playing begin. He warms up for every song by playing "Suwannee River." He did the same thing in "Songwriters" and Ralph recognized the name of the song, but in this latter episode he doesn't. He gets all mad at Norton. Ed (angrily): "A Pitcher warms up before the big game; I have to warm up too. I hope I don't have to tell you this again." With the exception of Suwannee River, Ralph not only gets the title of the songs correct, but who wrote them and what year they were made. Ed warms up by playing "Suwannee River" and plays another song on the sheet, Ralph doesn't guess it. The passage that Ed plays is the Gleason-composed "Melancholy Serenade," the theme of Gleason's variety show, from which the Honeymooners sketches emanated. McGarrity comes in to complain about the noise. (The first time, he makes an on-screen appearance.) Ralph: "You're just jealous that's all and do you know why? Because at this time, tomorrow night, my picture will be on the front page of every newspaper in the country." McGarrity: "So will mine for killing you." He leaves. Gee, when a person wins a million dollars on a game show today, they don't get their picture on the front page of every newspaper. Alice comes out so Ralph blames McGarrity for waking her up. Alice tries to get them to stop playing the piano but to no avail. Alice: "I will be very proud Ralph if you just walked away with $600." Ralph: "$600. Peanuts, peanuts. What am I going to do with peanuts?" Alice: "Eat 'em, like any other elephant." Ha! She goes back to bed while Ralph orders Ed to play the piano more.

The next day on the game show, Ralph is the first contestant. (Whatever happened to the other one?). Ralph says that he studied a little and that he plans to on straight to the $99,000 Question. Herb: "Did you talk this over with your wife?" Ralph: "Yes, I did and regardless, I am going for the $99,000 Question." The first question: "For $100, who is the composer of Suwannee River?" Ralph hears the intro of the song and he remembers that that's the song Ed warmed up before playing the other songs. Ralph: "Ed Norton?" Herb: "The correct answer is Steven Foster. You lost. I'll be seeing you Mr. Kramden." Ralph isn't going to quit though and he keeps on mentioning a song's info when the woman and Herb ask him to leave. Ralph just blew his chances of winning any money.

On the sponsor one, at the end, Jack plugs Buick. The credits roll with a stick figure of Jack in the background.

Credit I believe goes to the old Bill 'Mooners Archive, eBay.com, tv.com, Honeymooners Lost Episodes Book, tvguide.com, honeymooners.net, Honeymooners Box Set booklet Honeymooners Lost Episodes DVD booklet, Yahoo! Groups You’re A Riot! & amazon.com.
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